People all over the world use different approaches to create warm bed coverings. The Europeans created big, fluffy duvets with feathers. Mountain inhabitants in Central and South America made colourful, tightly woven blankets. Also, Appalachia of the Eastern United States has a history of making labour-intensive quilts with intricate patterns on them. Likewise, in Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan, the quilt-makers nurtured a tradition of creating a warm, cuddly, featherlight quilt which is popular as “Jaipuri razai.”
Jaipur is not only known as the city of royals but also as a city that is home to many traditional crafts. These handicrafts showcase the colourful side of the city and draw thousands of tourists from all over the world. These rare items make the Pink city a very popular shopping hub of India and are the essence of this unique land of handicrafts. One of the remarkable crafts that win the hearts of many is the art of making a Jaipuri Razai.
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What is Jaipuri Razai?
Jaipuri Razai is a lightweight soft cotton quilt that can be folded into a very small bundle. It is just like a duvet or a bed comforter which is a favourite souvenir, tourists take back to their home from Jaipur. Like every other handicraft item in Jaipur, the making of the Jaipuri Razai has not remained untouched by the advent of artistry. Although Jaipuri Razai is handcrafted and appears to be soft and cuddly, it is not delicate. These quilts are quite lasting, warm and comforting.
History of Jaipuri Razai
The origin of Jaipuri razai is somewhere in the 16th century when the Hindu sector had strict vegetarian rules. This led to a ban on the use of leather and wool in certain religious sectors of India. Rajasthan being from northwestern India and encompassing the Aravalli Mountain Range and the Great Indian Thar Desert, gets bitterly cold, especially at night. The people here lived a nomadic life. They were always at a move to places seeking work, food, and shelter even in freezing cold.
Due to the ban of leather and wool, they needed a covering that is easy to carry and which keeps them warm in the cold desert nights. The requisite warmth and convenience motivated artisans to create a cover that was durable, warm and convenient to carry. This quilt-making style served its territory so well that it has survived centuries and continues to be used.
Making of the Jaipuri Razai
The mastery of making these wonderful Jaipuri Quilts lies in traditional textile-making skills with age-old techniques. This unique making of Jaipuri razai makes it one of the best things to shop at Jaipur.
The process involves stitching three coverings of fabric along to form a thick padded material. The 3 coatings include the top fabric, a backing material and insulating the material. The top cotton fabric is washed and ironed then hand block printed before stitching. It is then filled with finely carded cotton spread evenly in the covering and stitched by hand. The borders are stitched by the device to make them last longer.
Three unique steps hold the utmost importance are known as cotton carding, voile-making, and quilting.
- Cotton Carding: This process involves preparing cotton used as filling in quilts. This process of carding is done to remove the waste cotton from cotton. The cotton carding proceeds with a kilogram of cotton and after a full week of carding, mere 100 grams of cotton is left. This carded cotton is used to fill the Jaipuri Razai.
- Voile making: The process of quilt making comes after preparing the fill. In this process, cotton is layered evenly throughout the fabric shell to avoid lumps and sagging. The shell of the quilt is usually a lightweight and soft cotton voile. Nowadays, Due to the demand of the customers, velvet and silk covering is also used instead of cotton voile.
- Quilting: The process of quilting is done after filling the quilt. It involves stitching the quilt together.
All the making is typically done by artisans whose families have been practising these skills for generations.
The popularity of Jaipuri Razai
Jaipuri Razai or the Jaipuri quilts are enjoying great demand across the world because of superior Rajasthani workmanship and its lightweight. It also tops the list when it comes to the things Jaipur is famous for. The mastery and knacks of artisans are very admirable because they put a lot of effort into this unique and elegant handmade creation. These quilts are also exported overseas and do a trade of more than 100 crores.
Jaipuri razai market in Jaipur
There is a huge Jaipuri Razai market in Jaipur. There is an interesting story linked to it. A young quilt maker named Kadar Baksh gifted a quilt, weighing only a pao (250gms.) of cotton to Maharaja Madho Singh Ji. The Maharaja was pleased and gave the title of Patel to Kadar Baksh as a reward. He also allotted him with two shops near to Hawa Mahal. Today, several small shops are belonging to the descendants of Kadar Baksh which carry a rich tradition of Rajai making.
Jaipuri Razai is manufactured in Topkhane Ka Rasta, Char Darwaza, Idgah, Chandpole Bazar, Sanganer, and Shastrinagar and sold mostly in the bazaars of the walled city.
Where to buy Jaipuri razai in Jaipur
You can find the best Jaipuri razai shop in Jaipur in shops near Hawa Mahal, Bapu Bazar, Nehru Bazar, Chaura Rasta, and Gopalji ka rasta to get the authentic Jaipuri Razai. These are the best places to buy Jaipuri razai in Jaipur. But, if you want something more unusual and special, there are designer shops like Rasa, Soma and Anokhi. They have very unique designs and good variety which are a little more expensive.
What is the price range of Jaipuri Razai
The price of a Jaipuri Razai relies upon what type of fabric or cotton is used, and also the technique used for carding and stitching. A single Jaipuri Razai price can cost from a couple of hundred rupees to more than a couple of thousand rupees. There are three types of quilt, cotton, velvet, and silk. Among all three types of quilts, the velvet ones are the costliest. For a single bed quilt you may need to pay 500-600 and for a good quality cotton double bed, king size quilt, be ready to pay about 1500.
Can we buy Jaipuri Razai online
Yes, you can find many sites where you can buy traditional Jaipuri razai online. Though buying online can be a little pricey, you can get authentic Jaipuri razai delivered right at your doorstep. Listed are a few best places to buy Jaipuri Razai online.
- Soma – somashop.com
- Fab India – fabindia.com
- Ethnic Rajasthan – ethnicrajasthan.com
- Jaypore – jaypore.com
- Jaipuri Razai – jaipurirazai.com
- Pinklay – pinklay.com
So, what are you waiting for? Bid goodbye to your old heavy blankets and enjoy the cold weather with soft, lightweight and warm Jaipuri Razai this winter.
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